By Lewis Gould

At $180 million, the Phillies had the third-highest payroll in major league baseball, just behind the Yankees and Red Sox.

All three super-spenders finished way out of the playoffs, but here’s the difference.

The Yankees have apologized to their fans for going 84-78 in the AL East, and we haven’t heard a peep from the Phils owners for a second straight 73-89 finish.

Unless, of course, you count a tweet from the son of John Middleton (photo above) , who owns the largest stake in the Phils, which basically said:

Lay off the Phillies.”

“I apologize,” Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees owner, said.

Steinbrenner said he was sorry for the poor season the Yankees had, their second straight without a playoff appearance.

Despite spending $438 million on four marquee players in the offseason, the Yankees finished just 84-78 — 12 games behind the Orioles for the American League East title.

“We did not do the job this year,” Steinbrenner said. “We know what you expect of us and we expect the same thing of ourselves. We certainly did what we thought we could do in the offseason to field a pretty good team come April 1st. But it just didn’t work out … and we’re going to get right back to work.”

And for the Phils, all we have is young John Powers Middleton’s tweet:

“To whom it may concern, I have not read these articles – not because I’m not interested in fan opinion but rather because false conjecture bothers me – but I have heard from friends in Philly there is wild speculation today over the Phillies. Remember 99% of what you read is totally inaccurate. And one more point brought to my attention. A general partner control baseball operating decisions. Limited partners vote on a variety of things, which may or may not be specifically on the field related. Limited partners are owners, the people involved in said limited partnership are equity shareholders and directors technically. The structure is far more complexed than it appears is being discussed and understood in articles and/or online.”“Also, I am a film and tv producer – seemingly confusion there also. But there’s this fantastic invention called Google, as well as other sites like IMDbPro (regular often inaccurate). I live in Malibu because I work in LA. One thing I can tell you, the Phillies are doing their best in a bad situation. The team just gave you arguably one of the three best runs in NL history, the others being, in my opinion, the 60s Cardinals and 90s Braves. Philly prides itself on being tough, but also LOYAL to its core. Changes and new additions, rough stretches, these are a fact of sport. Death, taxes, and your sports team will not win the championship every year. So please continue to support a team trying to right its ship, certainly spending the money necessary to do so, and look forward to the upswing and many more years of great baseball, consecutive pennants and division titles, and world championships to come. I’m proud to be a Philadelphian, but I’m not proud a fan base built on LOYALTY is abandoning ship because of a series of bad years. We are better than that. #GoPhils”

He should have stopped at 140 characters.



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